Origin of zoom

First recorded in 1885–90; imitative
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for zoom in on


/ (zuːm) /



the sound or act of zooming

Word Origin for zoom

C20: of imitative origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for zoom in on


1886, of echoic origin. Gained popularity c.1917 as aviators began to use it; zoom lens is 1936.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with zoom in on

zoom in on


Obtain a close up view of the subject with a camera, as in The TV people zoomed in on the Olympic gold medalist. [Mid-1900s]


Focus on, examine closely, as in The moderator got the panelists to zoom in on the health-care issue. [Second half of 1900s]

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.